MDC T leader, Thokozani Khupe is one foot back in parliament through the back door.
Zimbabwe Election Commission (ZEC) announced nominees to fill in vacant parliamentary seats following the recall of MDC Alliance legislators by a rival MDC-T camp led by Khupe.
ZEC Chairperson Priscilla Chigumba invited voters with objections to approach the Commission and lodge their objections to the nominated candidates.
“The public is hereby notified, in terms of section 39 (6) of the Electoral Act (Chapter2:13) that the MDC party has nominated party list members of the National Assembly and the Senate listed in the schedules below to fill in the vacancies in the National Assembly and the Senate that occurred following the recall by the MDC-T of the incumbent on the grounds that they had ceased to be members of that party
“Any voter wishing to object to the nominations of the members may lodge them in writing with the Chief Elections Officer, at Mahachi Quantum Building, corner Kaguvi Street and Jason Moyo Avenue, Harare or post them to Private Bag 7782, Causeway within a period of 14 days from the date of publication of this notice, setting forth the reason(s) for the objection(s).” said Chigumba
However, there were mixed views from some political analysts regarding the latest developments arguing that the move was a constitutionalism test.
“It promotes Rule by Law and is the classical epitome of constitutional abrogation. Its democracy on trial” said political analyst Alexander Rusero
Former Chief of Staff in Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s office during the Government of National Unity and lawyer Alex Magaisa questioned MDC secretary general Douglas Mwonzora on the kind of constitutionalism that allowed losing candidates to be representatives.
“Senator @DMwonzora does constitutionalism, which by definition is about limits of power, permit the elevation of someone who was rejected by the people to become an MP of the people who rejected her? Which kind of constitutionalism is this that allows losers to be representatives?” wrote Magaisa on twitter
Mwonzora responded by making reference to the Supreme Court judgment that ruled in favour of Khupe as the legitimate leader of the MDC.
“The answer lies with the decision that was made by the Supreme Court which had the effect of uniting the MDC-T factions who had separately contested elections. One contested on its own and the other under the MDC Alliance. They are now one party” responded Mwonzora
Khupe is set to bounce back in the National Assembly together with 13 other people who were nominated by her party to represent the party in parliament while MDC spokesperson Khalipani Phugeni is set for a senatorial seat.
One of the beneficiaries of the parliamentary coup is Chief Ndlovu, a millionaire with business interests in Johannesburg, who funded Khupe until she was bailed by the courts.
The other five constituency MPs, Prosper Mutseyami (Dangamvura), Chalton Hwende (Kuwadzana East), Amos Chibaya (Mkoba), Murisi Zwizwai (Harare Central) and Happymore Chidziva (Highfield West), would not be replaced immediately after ZEC suspended by-elections on account of the country’s lockdown measures to contain the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic.